CW Design; The Mommy Edition

“Nurture Them”

“Give Them Space”

“Give them the Best Opportunities”

“Don’t Give Them Everything, They’ll be Better People in the End”

“All They Need is Love”

“They Need Strong Boundaries”

“Be involved”

‘Don’t be too Involved, You’ll Make them Anxious”

“You Need to Work so You can Have Your own Life”

“It’s so Sad to see Kids at the Park with their Nannies and not their Moms”

“I only give my child breast milk”

“I only bottle feed my babies”

“Get the Epidural, Don’t be a Martyr”

“Natural Birth is the best for You, Your Baby and your Recovery”

“Don’t Sleep with the Baby in your Bed”

“Take your Baby into bed while your nurse, that’s the only way you’ll get some sleep”

I pay way too much attention to all the noise around me. All that loud, contradicting noise. It’s like I’m a bird who was born while its mother was out hunting food & any time I hear an opinion my initial reaction is “mama?” as if that’s what I’ve been looking for.
I end up taking in so many opinions, those opinions cause me inner turmoil for 3 days. It makes me question what I’m already doing and think it’s not good enough. Then I feel overwhelmed by the thought of needing to change what I’ve been doing, do something new, and worry about all that time I spent doing the “wrong” thing.

When I’m working I feel guilty I’m not spending enough time with my kids. When I’m not working I feel guilty for not contributing. as if contributing to my kids isn’t enough.
When I’m spending all my time with my kids, I feel exhausted and worn out. When I take time to do things for myself, I feel guilty that I’m selfish. I find this way of thinking exhausting.

My goal is gain strength from within ME, within my quiet self who is far from perfect. Who doesn’t buy organic fruits and vegetables, who has a daughter who doesn’t eat her vegetables, who has a two year old who leave the house in a diaper and nothing else (but isn’t he cold?) maybe, but I’m too lazy to get him dressed three times a day. I need to gain strength from someone who brushes her kids teeth twice a day but also lets them eat an abundance of sugar, from someone who is mostly screen free around her kids but has the patience level of a 72 year old man, from someone who needs visual confirmation every time she drops her kids off at school or camp. Yes this person, which is me, is who I need to gain strength from because this person is the only person who can change me and help me grow.

I just got a mosquito bite, now I have to ask my doctor for the zika test, just in case.

 

 

 

CW Design, The Summer Edition

Right now I decided not to take on any more projects. After finishing the boys bedroom, I was approached to come onto a few projects, two bigger, commercial projects and then two smaller spaces. After going back and forth about it in my head I ultimately decided to take on less, I’m going to be doing work on a small apartment in South Beach and free up some of my time.

My kids are in day camp for the summer and we’re not travelling this summer, due to a pending delivery in August (Gd Willing) For those who don’t know or weren’t sure about that last sentence, I’m pregnant. So I decided instead of working full time, I wanted to work less & use my time productively to focus on things that are always being pushed to the side all the time, like changing my last name or sending out thank you cards from my wedding. No, its not too late and I will be sending them out. I actually wrote them all out and thanked everyone personally and then let them sit in a box. Once they entered that box, it was all over for them. This summer they will be exiting the box, labeled with addresses and kissed with a stamp… so whoever gifted us back in 2011 get ready for a sweet little thank you coming your way this summer.

For those following my stories on Instagram, you know about another project that’s been happening, Ingrid Yourself. This project is focused on highlighting my mothers talents and abilities to create an organized and well run space no matter where you live or who you are. My mother’s English name is Ingrid, so that’s where the concept comes from and the rest is me documenting who she is and sharing it for all of you who weren’t privileged enough to be brought up by someone who gave us way too much love and not enough boundaries (yes there are down falls to that)

There’s also some work to do around my house – all small jobs – like knocking down a wall in the laundry room to create a guest room, fixing up my kids bedroom with a bunk bed/ paint and reupholstering some furniture. All these projects are small but will have big impact so I’m excited about them. All these projects will be documented for you guys of course – my client, Ezzy is very frugal, he believes in spending money on necessities before “things we don’t need.” If any of you understand this concept please reach out and explain it to me, because it holds no weight for me. Nonetheless, we’re moving forward with the above projects and I can’t wait to share them with you. So have no fear, I may be working less, but I’m still interesting, creative and worth watching/ following on Instagram (tell your friends.)

On a personal note, I started meditating this month which has been calming but also really stressful because going beyond all the chatter in brain is exhausting. Ok, bye.

 

Why I’m Choosing to Meditate

First I walked every day for 30 days, then I stopped using my phone from 330-630 pm every afternoon and now for the next 30 days I choose to meditate every day for 15 minutes. I will continue to implement the no phone rule because it brought me quiet time and focus during a time that’s usually chaotic. I love how the no phone in the afternoon has helped me in other areas too. I started to leave my room in the morning without my phone. I now get up, get out of bed and leave my phone on the charger. I head to the kitchen for the routine coffee while giving my kids cereal and milk. They fight over where they want to sit, which spoon they want to use, who gets to look at the back of the cereal box, someone spills milk, someone splashes their hands in the spilt milk – I get to be present for all of this.
I got a lot of questions like, what if someone needs to reach you or something really urgent happens? Those are valid points and to that and to my future, my phone will be on silent for all notifications and if someone calls and it’s urgent, I will answer. For this challenge though, I didn’t want to be available for any phone calls or messages. I was happy to take a break from the “yanni” or “laurel” drama. (btw its laurel) I also realized that I wasn’t missing out on that much. Once I was able to let go of what I was “missing,” I was able to lean into my actual life and what was happening right in front of me.

Not having my phone in the afternoons also gave me the ability to time travel. When picking something up, I would pull up in my car and beep – I needed to beep a horn for some acknowledgment. If the beep didn’t give me the acknowledgment I needed, I said things  like “go knock on the door and tell them we’re here.” I had never said that to my  kids before this challenge. On the drives home from school it was hard because I didn’t have my music (Spotify) or podcasts to listen to. I had to listen to my kids or wait for a red light and look for a CD to play. One day I needed to drop off a friend from school and realized I didn’t know the exact address. I circled around a few blocks, pulled up to one or two wrong homes but in the end I found the  right house. I know it sounds extreme to put all these limitations on myself – what is the harm in picking up my phone when I need an address or want to listen to a song. There is no real harm. It’s just refreshing to relearn the ability to figure things out. It’s ok to not have something right now, it’s ok to be bored right now, it’s ok to not listen to what you want right now. There is magic in the “dull” moments and we’re only ever going to see them if we challenge ourselves to put the phone down, even if it’s for an hour.

People talk a lot about anxiety these days. I feel like anxiety has become the new kale of mental illness. When I was growing up it was not this popular, no one in my class thought it was cool when my pinky touched my notebook and I then spent 5 minutes making sure every other finger of mine touched the notebook. Anxiety or having anxious thoughts or thinking I can control my environment by making sure both my elbows hit the wall is not a nee thing for me (unfortunately) I go to therapy weekly for anxiety – I am learning to manage the feeling of something catastrophic happening at any moment. The other day my pinky was bothering me, so I started writing letters to my kids thinking the pain was an early sign of any type of life threatening illness and my thoughts and love for my children needed to be preserved. I do have some appreciation for this aspect of my personality – when travelling, I’m the one watching the safety video on the plane. I make sure to get a visual of every exit so I’m prepared. If you’re on a plane with me that’s going down, you’re welcome because I will guide your ass off that plane with speed and precision.

So the above is what got me to make the decision to meditate every day for 15 minutes for the next 30 days. I’m choosing to meditate because I think it’s time to internalize the saying “let go and let Gd” (is that how it goes?) and live a life that feels lighter mentally and physically. My insides are starting to feel like the hunchback of Notre Dame, I’m so tired of ringing that bell of alarm but I cant stop & love doesn’t seem to cure it like Disney would have us believe. I hope this next challenge will bring me more peace, happiness and help “unhunch” my insides.

Challenge Yourself

Six weeks ago I decided to start a 30 day challenge to walk every day & I loved all of it, most of it. I loved incorporating exercise into my life and feeling productive no matter how unproductive my day might have turned out. As the challenge was coming to an end I started thinking of something new I can take upon myself for the upcoming month.
I decided on putting my phone away between 330pm and 630 pm. (yikes)
So I’m going to talk about the stages and my thoughts on the first 2 weeks of this challenge. The first day I had a lot of anxiety going into it, I kept thinking to myself, “What am I going to do? I’m going to need to in-ter-act with my kids without any interruptions.. I will need to give them eye contact the entire time. What will that be like?” It turned out to be manageable and much better than I expected. The adrenaline of doing something different kicked in and I barely felt the “loss” of not having my phone. I also think its important to note that I experienced zero FOMO which is a big deal.
Then came Day 7, which was my hardest so far, I’m not sure why. I had a busy morning and a lot on my mind so turning that off for me was really hard. The idea of being present was so unappealing. I wanted to be distracted and on my phone. Isn’t that good for my kids, to have a distracted mother so they can learn to figure it out? It turns out the afternoon was really pleasant and I ended up playing a game with my kids, on a Wednesday afternoon. We sat around the kitchen table and played a game, so old school that it made me really happy. So on Day 7 I started off pretty low and in the end I felt fairly content.

There are times that my phone is away and I don’t want to be present or engaged, I just want to relax and reprieve for a little bit. At this point of our lives, relax and reprieve means to mindlessly go through our phones, wrong or right, that’s the reality. How do I relax without my phone, or disengage when I need to. My kids have found me sitting on the couch with a coffee in hand looking out the window, “mommy what are u thinking about?” I’m thinking about how even sometimes when I set up my circumstances to be totally present and available to my kids and my life right now, I still don’t want to be. “I’m thinking about how much I love you,” is the answer I usually give. Total honesty is not always the way with young vulnerable children. When they are ready and susceptible to it, I have journals for them. I’ve also come to realize that not wanting to engage is also totally fine. I’m a human and humans are imperfect. Humans need to go inward to give outward and sometimes I do that well and sometimes I do it terribly. I want my kids to be ok with their imperfect selves and know that’s the way it should be, feeling imperfect is a sign that you’re still alive. That’s what we all want in the end, to be here, to be alive and to still have time. Not having my phone has given me more time to think, good thoughts, bad thoughts, terrible thoughts – all thoughts are welcome and I’m working on engaging in only good thoughts (hint for my next challenge)
Its also taken away the rush of things, now I literally feel every minute in the afternoon. It doesn’t fly by because any time I want to switch off for a moment I don’t have my fall back, I don’t have my phone. I cant quickly text an old friend about how kids are assholes or make a quick purchase and count in my head how many days it will take to get the package. I don’t search summer activities for kids to inspire me which usually stops there, inspires me then nothing happens. Well there’s always May of 2019 to solely be inspired again.

How has the no phone plan helped my marriage or has it helped my marriage? I don’t think its improved our relationship in particular. He’s usually home between 7 and 730, which gives me enough time to check in with reality and then focus on him and his day, which I rarely do because my therapist says I have narcissistic tendencies. So the no phone rule doesn’t help that aspect of my personality or our relationship. I don’t think he’s bothered by the idea of me being unreachable for 3 hours in the afternoon, on the contrary, I think he’s enjoying it. He’s not missing those texts or phone calls “When are you coming home, these are your kids too and they’re not listening- they totally get that from your mother, btw.”
So in conclusion I don’t have sufficient evidence on whether or not this challenge has been good for my marriage.

What I do know is that this challenge has brought me some joy in small doses. Its brought me more focus and attention during times I’ve usually done anything I could to escape. It’s also brought me time with my kids that I will never get back, because as each day passes, so does this precious, fleeting time with them.
Will this change my life, or who I am? Most probably not, my genetics are really REALLY strong. But it will help me become more comfortable with challenging myself and learning to be open to change. I like my kids to see me try new things, take on new things, drop those new things fairly quickly because again I’m showing them humanity and I’m showing them what’s real.

Two Boys & a Dream / Do Boys Have Dreams?

So I conquered the girls bedroom with graphic wallpaper and wicker swings, now we’re moving onto the two brothers of this 11 year old girl. The needs and desires for his room are slightly different than his sisters, he needs a place to work out, he needs a tv for his xbox/ play station and a place to do some homework. Style wise it’s more tricky for a younger boy, they’e not into anything besides sports or play station and I am not designing a room around a play station or a football player. So I need to be creative,  come on Chana. do what people pay you to do.

Boy’s Room One – Let’s call him Wild West
With his room, I’m going for something a little more western and I’m using that word to mean more adventurous and less rodeo. This is how I’m interpreting  western- more earthy, with a mix of neutrals and some bright colors – like blues and maybe orange (orange is not a color or word I use lightly) A lot of wood tones with light bedding.
I’m also very excited to be using this mural as a wallpaper I think it has so much impact. I also really love patterned wallpaper for certain spaces but right now I’m all about the murals.

OB-Dov Ber

 

Boys Room Two – Lets call him Beach Boy
This room is going to feel more coastal with lots of white washed finishes, less contrast, light bedding. To add interest, I’ll be incorporating a lot of textures. I’m also using a mural for this bedroom, which I’m very happy about. It’s going to add a lot of interest without taking up too much floor space. Boys need their floor space, for all their dirty socks.

OB-Yosef

The clients have been away for a little while, so the project has been put on hold. I’m going to share some progress videos. Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

I Dream of a Room Like This

I’ve worked with this client before, two years ago I re did two living rooms & dining room. She was a dream client then and she was even more dreamy this time around. I met with her about her and her husbands bedroom. It was designed 20 years ago and they felt that it was time for a change. My client is traditional so when coming up with the design concept for the bedroom, I decided to marry rustic with traditional. I liked the potential of what that combination could bring. So I started off by sending her three concepts;

 

OB-Eva Dark & Feminine

Dark & Feminine was more catered toward the husbands taste. I brought in pieces that were moodier in color or fabric and kept the backdrop more traditional with the wallpaper and color scheme.

OB-Eva Old World Modern

Old World Modern played up the traditional shapes with more rustic shapes. This was like an exaggerated  version of the two styles combined, which I really liked.

OB-EvaEffortless Tradition

Then came Effortless Tradition which was my favorite and the client’s favorite (I love when that happens.) It was a softer take on everything, with a muted color palette, different colored woods and all fabrics in linen.

OB-Eva Final

The client and I tweaked it a little bit before moving ahead. She liked the idea of a sectional sofa rather than two chairs. The desk was nice but didn’t offer enough storage so I changed that to a hutch. The hutch gave the client more storage and also added more tradition to the space.
So now that we’ve decided on the direction we’re going for the master bedroom, we need to start ripped apart the old look. Let’s see the starting point for this master bedroom;

BEFORE

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So this bedroom is clearly in need of a change. Behind the two beds are two very small windows, if you look closely, you’ll see black out curtains behind the sheers, those small areas are windows. When the client moved into the home they put drapes across the whole wall to distract from the small asymmetrical windows. So we wanted to keep the drapes installed the way they were and just switch out the fabric. There was so much to do in the bedroom – New beds, new benches, new night tables, new lamps, new ceiling light, NEW CARPET!! I was overwhelmed with excitement to get my hands on this room.

AFTER

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The fabric we used for the curtains was a white linen, which adds so much richness to the bedroom – I love it! When working in this room, I started with a very neutral color scheme to keep my clients husband happy (I happen to also love a neutral color scheme.) Once we nailed the colored schemed, I layered on a more feminine shapes to balance it out. The lamps, bed frame, light fixture and tufted bench all work really well in this setting and everyone is happy. FYI had the Mongolian pillows on both beds been any other color other than white – they would have been “out” as our German friend Heidi Klum puts it. The client’s husband wasn’t a fan of the “foofy” pillows but is now happy with the way it all looks. It blends so well you can barely see all the “foofiness” – his word.


BEFORE

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Let’s take a moment to address the size of this bedroom – it’s HUGE! Look at those beautiful bay windows and how wasted they are underneath all those tassels and organza. I simultaneously love the word organza and hate seeing it in a space. The drapery was installed by layering black out curtains first and then sheers on top. Which was more work when opening and closing curtains, you needed to open or close sheers before you were able to use the black outs. And the blackouts right in front of the windows hid those beautiful arches.

AFTER

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It was a really big priority to have beautiful drapery by the bay windows and also show the arches – you cannot hide arches. Arches are beautiful in any and every context. When we installed new drapery, we put the sheers first and then layered the blackouts on top. So if the client wanted to let in light while also having privacy, she opened the black outs and the sheers were there to give light, show off the arches and provide her privacy. This is what the young people are calling a “win win.”

BEFORE

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I also decided to take all the framed pictures scattered around the room and create a strong focal point. Each picture meant something to my client so I wanted them to be showcased in a better way. When we were done with gallery wall my client said, “it wouldn’t be a gallery wall by Chana if there weren’t hanging beads.” I looked at her teary eyed and said “Yes! You get it!”

AFTER

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The layout from Before and After aren’t that different at all but the furniture pieces are more modern so it feels more fresh. Like a fresh salad. The hutch I chose has open shelving instead of cabinets on top and it also comes off the ground with fluted legs which gives it a lighter look. The dresser also accomplishes this with the legs bringing it off the ground and changing both pieces from a yellow /beige to white helps a ton!

I loved breathing new life into this bedroom. It was a pleasure working with this client again, it makes me to happy that she now has a beautiful space to escape to at the end of each day. Here are some more pictures of the room, Enjoy!

 

 

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Finding My Inner Voice

I recently told Ezzy that the difference between me and him is that his insecure thoughts come in the form of a mouse and my insecure thoughts come in the form of twin hippos, which makes them much harder for me to push away. I blame the hippos for holding me back all these years when it came to speaking up about myself. I blame the hippos for every time I shied away from confrontation. I blame the hippos for every time I wanted to make a video of myself and then decided the world would be a better place without it.
It is time for me to say goodbye to the twin hippos. We’ve been together a long time twin hippos, you’ve been with me for mostly hard times. In those hard times you only made things worse for me. It’s time you both pick on someone your own size, it’s been terrible having you around. Enjoy your new swamp life.

With every goodbye, there’s a new beginning. Thank you Rosh Lowe for helping me start this new beginning and for teaching me the tools needed to create this video. This video is a way for me to start telling my story and who I am. I’ve never created the opportunity to talk about my passion for design and how I got into it – I think that’s really important to do. It’s important for me because I get to speak up and talk about my love for what I do and it’s important for you as the audience to get to know me a little better. I’m pretty sure you wont regret it.

 

 

A Girl’s Dream Come True

I took this job on in the beginning of the summer, she was 11 and eager for a new room and I was 30 eager to feel young, just kidding, I needed the money, I’m joking, I’m a well rounded designer and took this job because I was excited to do something feminine, youthful and transitional. So I posted about the room and the concept when I first started and you can find that post here. Now I want to show you all the finished product of a project that I am so excited about and if I didn’t like the client so much, I would physically push them out of the room and take it over as my own. The process of creating a bedroom is fairly straight forward. I first meet with client, in this case I met with the 11 year old and her parents, we spoke about what doesn’t work for her anymore and what she would like to see in the room. I took measurements and notes like a good designer does and we were on our way. I came back to them two weeks later with three options for the room, each option offering the same concept in a different form. We spoke about what works, we chose items, then ordered the items. So once that’s done, we wait for things to come and then installation happens, first the floor then the lighting, then a built in closet and then the magical, amazing wallpaper went up and furniture came in.

Even with a project this exciting and beautiful there are times we need to redirect, the bed was originally supposed to go in between the swings, turns out, it fits but its a little tight on the sides, so we switched the bed for the chase. the bed came a little damaged (bummer) so I called company and they’re sending a replacement, in a month, another bummer. We need to coat the floors with a semi gloss finish because the raw & rustic wood floors are beautiful, but not amazing against her 11 year old feet. They’re still young and delicate.

This is what the room looks like walking in. The day bed anchors one side, while the chase anchors the other side. The mirror is a pocket door into the closet.

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This is the room with the LED lights off, it’s less bright and has a very romantic feeling, the pendant also stands out more which I like.

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Here’s a shot of the closet door open, another pendant is in there to create symmetry. The while panel on top of the opening is another LED light, which comes in handy on Shabbos, you can slide the door open & shut when you need light and when you don’t.

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I love these swings so much! It’s so fun for her to have friends over now. The swings also help keep the room from feeling too mature.

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I placed this ladder there to add some interest and another layer. My 11 year old client wasn’t exactly sure what to do with it though, so design wise great decision, practicality wise I should probably return it before they damage it.

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Tell me, whats your favorite part of this room? Was it different to see a room from me that wasn’t more masculine or with something woven hanging on the wall? Let me know your thoughts, I’m open to all positive feedback and mildly open to neutral feedback. Thanks in advance.

 

A Girl’s Dream

You all know I’ve been working on a big, big office space which is hopefully going to be done soon and then I can show you all that I do in fact work during the day. The good news, this office space I’m working on has a client and this client has a daughter. The good news isn’t that he has a daughter, because a lot of kids suck, the good news is that his daughter is turning 11 and wants a complete make over for her room.

It’s safe to say this room needs a makeover fast. There is so much pink it’s blinding to me, the flower decals, the heart shaped mirror the character bedding, zebra curtains, all of it needs an update. I came up with a floor plan and furniture plan for this bedroom.

Option A; Secret Garden

Option B; Soft & Feminine

Option C; Naturally Romantic

So I came up with three plans for the room, they’re all move in different directions but have the same under current style which is soft, nature inspired and laid back.

After meeting for the consultation, drawing up floor plans, coming up with furniture options & presenting them to the client ( the 11 year old ) we’re going with option A; Secret Garden. I love wicker and swings and sheepskin and murals and bamboo lights. When I took on this project, I was feeling a little hesitant to deliver a “girly” and transitional space. I don’t typically work with pastel colors and frills, but this turned out really pretty and I’m VERY excited to get started! I am feeling a lot of positive things right now.

Next up on the agenda- new flooring and built in closet- how much do we all love/ hate this 11 year old?

 

The Birth of CW Design

Over the last couple of months I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with work. Decisions that used to come to me naturally, were now things I agonized over. I was feeling a little lost, not confident in my abilities as a designer and as a result not feeling efficient at my job. I would be having a consultation with a client, thinking to myself, “When should I tell them that I’m not really good at this anymore and I’m thinking to take up tap dancing.” I wasn’t sure why there was this shift for me, maybe it was that I was taking on too many jobs so I wasn’t able to be as creative as I wanted to be with each one. Maybe it was the pressure to “preform” on social media & “get myself out there” which I was struggling with. I’m not a very loud person at all. I think before I speak and when I do finally speak, I don’t use any extra words. I literally only use the amount of words needed and nothing more. So putting myself out there in this fun and unfiltered way felt very uncomfortable. Interior design on Instagram is also hard to live up to. Every space looks really pretty & styled & bright which in reality takes so much time, money & effort. I could create five amazing spaces that when photographed didn’t look right because there wasn’t heavy streams of natural light coming through the windows. Most of my clients don’t live on hilltops (hashtag goals) and filtered interior spaces cheapen the look of the room. So I wasn’t having an easy time showcasing my work on Instagram. For a while I was done with social media and ready to get rid of it all – I was going to live my life free of any social media pressures. Of course, secretly I was scrolling through Instagram to make sure I didn’t miss out on any of my friends updating their lives, looking like a koala bear. My husband and I were hanging out one night, I was going on about how I’m above it all & I’m the only one truly being present (those words “truly being present” is starting to sound so pretentious these days, but my thoughts on that for another post) and he looked at me and said “you’re really above it all or do you just want more likes?” How dare he suggest I don’t have 100% pure intentions while I cleanse myself of social media. I denied it and called him a bunch of profanities but then I got tired and admitted my deep secret to this man I lived with.

I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine, telling her I’ve failed at life and if she was a real friend she would hand me a knife, and she told me I’m having some growing pains & it’s time to change things up – time for a new name. “Designs by Chana is cute, but you need something stronger. It’s easier to refer a friend to CW Design than to Designs by Chana and that’s the goal right?” Which got me thinking, she’s right. Designs by Chana is great until you start going to show rooms or trade shows and stand there uncomfortably while people try to pronounce the second half of your business name, “you gotta just get right in there with the chhh..” Finding something that was catchy & easy would help me feel more confident among new clients and companies & it would also give me more staying power, it’s something that will last. So once I turned the negative, narcissistic head space into a productive way to grow and become more of who I wanted to be, things started to fall into place again. Having said that, it was really hard for me to do because typically I LOVE the negative, narcissistic head space. (Btw I’m keeping my friend anonymous  because I think I already gave her enough credit, letting you all know this whole very personal, introspective change came from her..)

Right now, I’m working on a few different jobs that I love and I’m also preparing for the future, trying to execute new ways to run my business that feels efficient and creative. This feels like a good opportunity to look back on the past 6 years & talk about some really good choices and of course some really not good choices;

Let’s start with a really not good choice,

This was one of my first jobs, I was designing a bedroom that needed to transition into a more mature space and double up as a guest room. The design of the room was simple, layered and playful. The focal point of the room was this art-deco inspired black and white wallpaper. This job was a lower budget job, so that meant two things- the handyman/ installation guy (let’s call him Joe) wasn’t as experienced as I would of liked him to be and because of the lower budget the wallpaper was self adhesive which seemed responsible at the time. It started off looking good & then Joe started having trouble applying it smoothly. We started to see a lot of air bubbles form, so first we tried flattening them out which led to a lot of creases in the wallpaper, so then we tried taking off the wallpaper and reapplying it. The more we tried the worse it got, before we knew it, the wallpaper started to look like one big ball of garbage – and we had a whole wall to cover. There I was standing with a huge ball of crumbled wallpaper that was sticking to everything because it was self adhesive so when I tried kicking it around out of frustration, I just ended up limping out of the room with a ball of wallpaper stuck to my shoe. The really exciting part was the client being there to witness me in that moment, made it that much more memorable. In the end, I ran out to get a really big canvas and laid the remaining wallpaper onto the canvas & we used that for a big art piece to anchor the room. It looked beautiful, client was happy & I was relieved to say the least. I learnt a lot from that experience, I learnt that you always need a back up plan- even if it’s not as good as the original- have other options in place. I also learnt that self adhesive wallpaper sucks & wallpaper needs to be applied by a professional while you sit back like a snob pointing your finger, saying “there shall be no air bubbles.”

One of my really good choices,

This was a repeat job for a client, so that made the process much easier. I knew what she liked, I knew what her budget was and she was open and eager to my ideas which is SO important in creating a good space. The goal was to create a guestroom that felt cozy and welcoming. The room had a lot of neutrals with a ton of textures to keep things interesting. Metallic bed, linen curtains, wood side table, pottery pieces used as accessories & a lot of greenery. This client of mine also happened to be amazing at scouring Craig’s list or eBay for quality pieces at a better price. I’m a big fan of mixing high & low and usually stayed quite reserved when buying pieces for this client; but with this room I found a statement piece (the bed) that was a splurge. Generally I don’t push clients to spend unless they’re comfortable with it but this time I nudged a little, a lot, until she agreed – and we were both thrilled with the end result. The whole room was elevated because of that bed, from the rug to the drapes to the table lamp. Everything about that room felt beautiful, cozy and peaceful. This job was also one of my better ones because I felt really confident which helped me come into my own, style wise. The decisions for the room felt true to the clients’ needs and felt true to who I was and the design elements that inspire me. I believe every designer has an element they bring to their work –  a good designer is always able to accommodate many different styles – but a designer always brings a certain amount of themselves to a job. This job really honed in on what I bring to my jobs, which taught me a lot.

There are so many other examples that have challenged me, taught me, pushed me and inspired me. I’ve loved jobs, I’ve dreaded jobs, I’ve succeed with many & could have done better with probably all of them. I am so happy and lucky to be doing this and I am excited to be CW_Design on Instagram – let’s see what happens next.

Right now the most dominant thought going through my mind is what you’re all thinking. “Why did she need to write a whole post about feeling insecure.. a quick announcement about the new logo would have been sufficient.” Some of you might not have even finished it, which is OK, I spoke my truth and that’s all that matters. For the record, my therapist says eventually I will start believing that.

I want to give a shout out to the graphic designer who helped with my new logo- @chanabcohen- so talented and so good at what she does!